Asturias is one of Spain’s little-known regions, on the north coast. Besides its amazing green and wild scenery, Asturias produces some excellent cuisine. It’s particularly known for its cider, as well its cheeses and grilled meats. The Asturian capital of Oviedo is where you can find some of the best Asturian cuisine, so here are our picks of some of the best restaurants in the city.
Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
Gloria, Oviedo | Courtesy of Gloria, Oviedo
Gloria is a trendy and stylish restaurant, focusing on quality ingredients and flavours. It is run by Michelin-starred chefs and siblings Nacho and Esther Manzano, who also run the famous Casa Marcial and La Salgar in Gijón, along with their family. The concept is based on fresh market ingredients and quality home cooking, and some of the recipes here have been adapted from their more famous sister restaurants. It serves mainly tapas-style plates such as Iberian ham with grilled aubergine and an emulsion of chilli peppers or classic ham croquettes and tortilla. They also serve an excellent menu of the day, featuring one classic Asturian dish every day of the week – Wednesday is for the fabada Asturiana – traditional Asturian stew.
La Finca Sidrería Agrobar, Oviedo | Courtesy of La Finca Sidrería Agrobar, Oviedo
La Finca is both a traditional Asturian cider bar and a restaurant, serving classic Asturian dishes and tapas plates. It has a modern and contemporary feel, yet is decorated with wooden cider barrels and farming equipment. All of the dishes are made with 100% Asturian products, and many of them are made without gluten or lactose (you’ll also find a few vegetarian choices). Choose from plates such as courgette with roasted salmon, fire-roasted aubergine with pesto and bonito fish, fabada Asturiana and an Asturian sausage board.
Naguar aims to showcase the very best of Asturian cuisine in its kitchen. Head chef Pedro Martino cooks up a storm of fresh, seasonal dishes that are simple, yet beautifully presented. These include chickpea stew, octopus with boiled potatoes, and creamy rice with clams and squid. Don’t forget to leave room for the creative and delicious desserts, such as rice pudding with local honey ice cream, hazelnut soufflé or merengue rock with Sariego cheese and a cardamom and carrot cream.
Another traditional Asturian sidrería (cider bar), Tierra Astur has a few branches dotted all over the region. Inside is rustic and cosy, filled with lots of dark wood, wooden benches and green glass bottles hanging from the ceiling. As well as the traditional cider, they specialise in grilled meats, as well fabada Asturiana, and cured meat and fish boards (mar y montaña). Other dishes to try include corn tortillas filled with picadillo (Mexican-style stew) of wild boar and chicken stuffed with dried ham and a local cheese.
Located right in the historic heart of Oviedo, El Fartuquín is a historic restaurant itself, filled with old wooden beams, wrought iron chandeliers and bare stone walls. The restaurant offers an array of starters, salads, meat and fish dishes, such as grilled prawns, octopus cooked with onions or sirloin fillet cooked in cider. They also offer a wide selection of desserts – so make sure to save room. There’s everything from cheesecake and almond cake to Cava lemon sorbet or apple cider sorbet and a selection of Asturian cheeses.
Casa Fermín, Oviedo | Courtesy of Casa Fermín, Oviedo
Open since 1924, Casa Fermín is an upmarket fine dining restaurant by chef Luis Alberto Martínez and his family. It is set in a greenhouse-like building with a glass roof and surrounded by plants. It’s all about avant-garde, molecular gastronomy, foams and artistic plates here. It even has its own wine cellar. Dishes include pickled oysters with passion fruit, mussels with green garlic and apple foam, or wild mushrooms with pumpkin and an egg foam with truffle.
Restaurante El Fondín, Oviedo | Courtesy of El Fondin, Oviedo
El Fondín is a charming little restaurant set on the Plaza Trascorrales, with tables spilling outside onto the street. The restaurant describes itself has having a market kitchen, with fresh seasonal ingredients. Dishes on the menu here include sautéed rock octopus with clams and prawns, and grilled Vidiago cheese with fresh tomato, basil and raspberry coulis. There are also a number of other meat and fish dishes, as well as a whole mushroom section of the menu – great for vegetarians. The tasty homemade desserts are definitely worth trying, too.
Restaurante del Arco is one of the most well-known restaurants in Oviedo, having been a favourite here for around 30 years. It comprises a stylish and classy restaurant and a casual tavern next door. While the tavern serves both classic and innovative tapas bites such as corn tortillas with crispy duck and pineapple chutney or Asturian beef with peppers, the restaurant offers a fine three-course menu. There’s also a classy tasting menu for €55. Try the amazing sparkling chocolate ball filled with caramel cream for dessert.